Mayor Welcomes ‘Fantastic’ Interest-free Environmental Loan Scheme

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne has welcomed the Government’s announcement of environmental loan scheme through Crown Irrigation Investments Limited.

“Yesterday's announcement by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is fantastic news for the Waimea Water Augmentation Project (WWAP),” Richard says.

“One of the issues that has really challenged my Council politically is the expectation that the ratepayers would have to fund most, if not all, of the costs of providing the dam’s environmental flow and general community benefits.

“The news that the Government (through Crown Irrigation) can now provide interest-free loans for environmental benefits flowing from water storage infrastructure and that the Minister has specifically recognised the WWAP as the sort of project this new initiative is designed for, is just the lift we needed.

“I'm sure it will allay the fears of those around the Council table who were concerned about the fairness of the earlier proposal and I'm now anticipating full support from Council.

“The significant saving in interest costs will flow directly to ratepayers. I'll be asking staff for advice on what the exact amount the benefit will be.

Mayor Kempthorne said it puts the project on a very solid footing.

“It’s hard to imagine us being in a better place to present a fair and equitable funding model for our ratepayers to consider.”

“This has been a very challenging proposal and I greatly appreciate the Minister’s announcement for enabling our community to fund a solution for a sustainable water supply in the Waimea Basin as well as providing for urban, irrigation and environmental benefits.”